After a few years of floating around a bit, I decided it was time for something new, something different. We put in our second Cisco voice system this week that I am administrating so I decided it was a good time to head down the voice track. I am going to start with the CCNA, and move through the CCNP track, so it will be some time before I am planning on taking any sort of ccie written collaboration exam. Hopefully I can get to that point before I have to re-certify :) I am going to follow Mark Snow’s plan at least until I get done with the CCNP. I have all of INE’s voice material right now, so my plan is to make good use of that material. I would like to get some 2800′s in the basement rack, and get a rack going that matched the older INE blueprint. I have a vmware server running right now with CUCM on it, and have plenty of resources left to get all the servers on it. There is no way I am going to be able to convince the wife to let me build out a full collaboration rack though. It’s will be a lot of rack rentals this time around.

In the end it just feels good to be taking on something new again…

The only thing I would say to anyone who will take the new version is don’t fear any change, or addition to the updated version of the lab. When version 4 was announced there was so much fear over the troubleshooting section, and MPLS being added. Change brings fear, unnecessary fear. I ended up failing version 3 of the lab two weeks before version 4 came out. I wasn’t ready for it. So I took two more years before making another attempt (to be fair we had another child between attempts…) Then I passed version 4 on my first attempt. Simply because I was ready to take it. INE, Narbik, and IPexpert will have their material updated to get you through the new version. Study hard, and run with it…

Yea I know there is not much here, but I don’t want to give my long drawn out opinion on a version of the lab I will never have to take. I don’t think it is fair to anyone reading this that will take the new version :) I would strongly pay attention to what the trainers have to say though.

I would miss Frame Relay and all those easy points that come with it :(

The announcement for the R&S CCIE v5 update should be coming soon (November timeframe) and the switch over for the lab sometime around March 2014. Cisco Live Europe has a R&S v5 Technical Breakout scheduled for anyone attending. The update to version 5 appears to be a 100% virtual lab environment similar to how the troubleshooting section of the lab is done now. The major benefit of the lab going virtual is that the topics covered will be platform independent. You will not need to buy 2911?s or 3750x’s to prepare and can use any relatively newer router or switch to prepare or use a virtualized environment (IOL/IOU/VIRL, GNS3, CSR). The goal of the v5 appears to be to focus on the technologies themselves and less on the hardware and a specific topology. This is the best move Cisco has made for the R&S CCIE program in years as candidates will need to focus more on the technologies themselves and not worry about IOS versions, hardware platforms, physical topologies, etc.

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If you are prepping for the lab this is something I am sure you are going to want to catch.

Starting tomorrow, September 24th 2013 at 10:00 PDT (17:00 GMT), I will begin the running the new CCIE Security Advanced Technologies Class for the newest version 4.0 blueprint. Online streaming of tomorrow’s class is free for anyone to attend. Simply login to http://members.ine.com and then browse to the streaming url of http://ine.co/scv4. A link to the streaming page is also located in the members dashboard.

Tomorrow’s class will start with an introduction about the scope of the CCIE Security v4 blueprint, including the hardware and software versions, as well as the specific technologies within the scope, and then will continue with the technical topics of IOS Firewall, including stateless ACL filtering and stateful filtering with both CBAC and ZBPF.

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I am sure most people have heard about Cisco’s decision to retire the CCIE Voice, and move forward with the CCIE Collaboration. Here is a good read on it from UCGuerrilla over on his site.

May 29, 2013 marks the day that Cisco announced the new CCIE Collaboration track. For many existing voice CCIEs, this was a welcome change to the blue print as it lined up with what we really do. We were excited about the blue print change and then we read the catch:

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Cisco Live Orlando

Filed Under CCIE General | Leave a Comment  | by CCIE Journey

Looking forward to heading back to Cisco Live this year. Haven’t been back since I was there last in 2009. Something always seemed to come up the last few years to keep me away. I am excited to be attending this year since it is in Orlando. Not sure how I am going to feel about that Orlando weather though. Got a couple of Don Slice’s EIGRP sessions scheduled. If you use EIGRP in your enterprise network, or prepping for the R&S lab they are very informative.

INE is giving away a Harley this year at their Cisco Live party!

I would like to thank the over 600 people who RSVP’d for INE’s 2013 Party at the Hard Rock Cafe in Orlando during Cisco Live. Registration is closed as of today for our party but I wanted to be the first to let everyone know about the grand prize giveaway we are doing. On top of the standard giveaway prizes (iPads, MacBook Airs, AAP Memberships, Bootcamps, etc) we are giving away a Harley Davidson 2013 XL 1200X Forty-Eight to a lucky winner during our party.

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New over at INE’s Blog:

As everyone knows INE has made INC 5000?s list of fastest growing educational companies for two years running and we’re having our best year ever by roughly 30% over our 2011 numbers. With this growth INE is once again expanding. Starting mid-January 2013 INE will have a new office in RTP, NC. The office in RTP will be for sales and support so that means sales will be available starting from 6am EST (-5 GMT) in January. We’re also doubling the size of our datacenter in Reno, NV in January. We’ve signed the lease on the building next to our current Reno datacenter and are close to finalizing the RTP sales/support location. We’re looking for a mid-level rack support engineer for the RTP office location and for Reno. Hours would be from 6am to 2pm Monday through Friday for RTP and 9am to 5pm Monday through Friday for Reno. For the Reno location I’m willing to relocate the right candidate and their family within the US. These will be fulltime permanent positions.

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Status Update 08.17.2012

Filed Under CCIE General | 5 Comments  | by CCIE Journey

It has been quite sometime since I wrote a status update, and can’t believe we are almost into September. My studies pretty much stopped cold this past May. My wife, and myself both lost our father’s due to cardiac arrest within two months of each other. Both our dad’s were in their early 60′s, and had clean bill’s of health. So both are families are still really in shock. We lost my dad just a little over a month ago so it is still fresh in my mind.

With all that being said it has been impossible to dive into another CCIE track at the moment. Still not sure if SP, or Security will be the way forward for me. I am looking forward to seeing how INE, and IPexpert are going to go about updating their security material.

Disclaimer: I received a copy of Tanner’s book for free and thought I would give a quick review on it.

I started reading through the book while we are looking at alternatives for our current voip systems here at work. I though the book was a really good read. The book is concise, and to the point. Which is something I can appreciate when I am just looking for instructions to add “custom media files for Music On Hold” for example. Keep in mind the book is written to be a quick reference for common problems, and implementations. You aren’t going to find hundreds of pages of telephony background of theory. Which for me is a good thing…

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